when I got home and parked my car in front of my house I sat in the car for about 5 minutes talking on my phone while it was hooked up to the charger.
For the third time, a man local to our neighborhood was walking with his son coming towards my car.
She Can’t Be a Hero If Obama Likes Her
The power of the painting rests in this: An ordinary little girl, in her ordinary dress, on her way to what should be an ordinary day of school, who can’t do any of this without several police protecting her from the violent actions of hate-filled, venomous people who loathe her because of her skin color.
That little girl grew up into the adult Ruby Bridges, now 56 years old and living in New Orleans, who successfully lobbied President Obama to hang the painting in the White House. He opted to have it hung not down some dark hall, but right outside the Oval Office. More than two months after the painting was installed (it’s on loan from the Normal Rockwell Museum, in Stockbridge, Mass.) the media has sat up and made this a big news story. Is Obama sending a message here? Why does a painting with such “difficult” subject matter have to hang right outside the Oval Office?
I spent a lot of time reading dozens of comments on various sites carrying the story. There are a surprising number that run along the lines of, “Obama is playing the race card,” or, “Can’t blacks get over it?” or “Obama is doing this only because of the opening Sunday of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington,” or (best yet, for those of us who are educators), “That was long-ago history. Why drag it up now?” More than one sunny person asked why Obama couldn’t put up “something positive” about race.
All these comments criticizing the painting and its placement, and not one recognizing the simple truth that for all the scathing indictment lurking in the painting’s title, “The Problem We All Live With” is a heroic painting? It fits in with a long tradition of such paintings, alongside “The Death of Socrates,” “Liberty Leading the People” and “Washington Crossing the Delaware.”
I can’t believe this needs spelling out, but it does. The painting of the little Ruby Bridges inspires us to behave with dignity and courage in the face of adversity. She is what’s called a hero.